Rob Allen, aka RoBoT aLiEn, is an artist who moves in exalted indie circles having gigged with the likes of Johnny Foreigner and Sunset Cinema Club. He also counts key tastemaker Tom Robinson of BBC Radio 6 Music amongst his fans. His reputation is based on successful stints with previous bands and projects, so now comes the acid test – his first debut album.
The first thing you notice is that Allen takes a varied approach to his song writing. There’s light and shade, loud and quiet, long songs and short songs, acoustica and electronica. At times he switches style and genre so quickly that it takes the mind a moment to catch up. But one of the album’s strengths is grouping these disparate influences together to a certain extent so these jumps aren’t too distracting.
The opening section gives us alternative alt-pop with tinges of Britpop, until at track eight Boom Beams things take a fully electronic turn for a few tracks, replete with effects, looping and all the bleeps and sounds you’d expect. Then, to close things off, things take a turn for the lighter, more acoustic indie sound from track 14 (album highlight Should’ve).
All in all it makes this debut a good example of how to write in different styles and then create a coherent full length LP from what is produced. And for this, RoBoT aLiEn should be proud of what he’s created.